Today we still have the legacy of lead paint in homes and businesses across the United States, even though the risks and bans have been long known. When we discover that commonly used construction materials are toxic, it is a very gradual process to enact state and federal bans against it and begin recovery. The risks of lead from lead paint had been well known for decades if not centuries, but the slow march of government, intensive lobbying, and dragging lawsuits took a long time to enact change. Let’s look at why lead paint is still present in so many buildings, using an example that is close to home.
Boston Provides $4 Million in Aid for Lead Paint Abatement in Housing
Last month, the mayor of Boston announced that they had received $4.3 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to perform lead paint abatement to identify and clean up dangerous lead in privately-owned low-income homes and housing. This is part of a larger $319 million competitive HUD funding round that is awarding 77 cities the resources needed to help low-income homes to deal with abatement on lead and other hazardous materials in housing.
Why is Lead Paint Still Present in Homes and Housing?
Often the biggest two contributors to the presence of lead paint are a lack of testing to discover lead paint or the lack of abatement on lead paint that has been discovered. When work is done on buildings built before a certain date, it should be checked as part of the Lead RRP Rule, but removal (abatement) of paint isn’t mandatory and costly – but potentially not as costly as leaving it in.
What are the Risks of Lead Poisoning?
Lead paint is poisonous, either reduced to powder due to damage or remodeling of a home or consumed by children who break paint off in chips from walls or fixtures. The finally reasons behind the bans and why additional funds are being cleared up is the devastating effect lead paint poisoning can have on children, including:
- Bone Growth: Lead can interfere with calcium absorption, leading to stunted bone growth and weak bones.
- Muscle Growth: Decreased muscle growth, as well as poor muscle coordination.
- Anemia: Lead can damage blood cells in the body and limit their ability to carry oxygen.
- Systems & Organs: Damage to the nervous system and the kidneys.
- Speech & Hearing: Speech and language problems and damage to hearing.
- Mental Development: Developmental delay, as well as lower overall IQs.
Want to learn more? Check out our full blog section on lead paint, including why lead was used in paint and more information on lead poisoning. Check your local government page for more information on funding and loads for hazardous material removal. And feel free to reach out to us here at Fiber Control, Inc., who specializes in lead paint abatement for New England and Connecticut.